Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Allergy Unit

Student research


Dietary intake and nutritional adequacy among adults with suspected food intolerance before their initial appointment at the RPAH Allergy Unit

by
Amanda Neubauer
Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, The University of Sydney
Supervisors: Velencia Soutter, Robert Loblay, Anne Swain, Brooke McKinnon, Carling Chan, Kirsty Le Ray, Wendy Stuart-Smith
June 2014

pdf Full Text - PDF (141 KB)

Abstract

Aim: The aim of this study was to assess dietary intake and nutritional adequacy among adult patients with suspected food intolerance before their initial appointment at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) Allergy Unit.

Methods: All new adult RPAH Allergy Unit patients were contacted via telephone before their initial appointment and assessed as eligible study participants based on suspected food intolerance. Four-day weighed food records were used to collect dietary intakes of participants. For analysis, data was combined with RPAH Allergy Unit patient data collected in 2013. Dietary intake was assessed by allocating all foods and drinks consumed to a food group, and comparing the number of serves consumed from each group to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommendations. Nutritional adequacy was assessed using nutritional analysis software FoodWorks, by comparing nutrient intakes with Australian and New Zealand Nutrient Reference Values.

Results: A total of 64 patient food records were analysed. Most patients had consumed protein at an amount recommended, but fat was above and carbohydrate was below recommendations. The Recommended Dietary Intake values for vitamin A and iron, and the Estimated Adequate Requirement values for folate, calcium and iodine were not met by most patients. On average, only 58% of the recommended core food serves were consumed, with discretionary foods commonly over-consumed.

Conclusion: Prior to their initial appointment at the RPAH Allergy Unit, most patients had over consumed fat and under consumed carbohydrate; most appeared to have inadequate intakes of calcium, folate and iodine, and may not have met their vitamin A and iron requirements. Core foods were generally displaced with a high discretionary intake.